Transition: The Way Through Change – Part 3 Neutral Zone: There’s Nothing to Hang Onto

| March 23, 2015 | Comments (1)

“It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in-between that we fear… It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold onto.” ~Marilyn Ferguson, American Futurist

There you are… 35 feet up, standing on the teeny-tiniest of trapeze platforms, looking down at the net far, far below.

You’ve got one hand on the trapeze bar and the other gripping the trapeze rigging for dear life. And now you have to put BOTH hands on the trapeze bar, lean out over the net and jump.


You’re second hand is taking an HOUR to go from the rigging to the trapeze bar… You freeze.

This is what the Neutral Zone can feel like.
– A sense of chaos
– Feeling detached, fearful, confused, lost and scared
– Gaining a new perspective on the past and future
– A sense that one foot is in the past and the other is in the future

The Neutral Zone in a pass-through period between and Ending and a New Beginning. It can feel intensely uncomfortable, confusing, and even chaotic at the same time. It may feel like an empty time in which not much seems to be happening…

There are several traps you can fall into in the Neutral Zone:
– Focusing on the chaos
– Rushing to move ahead
– Trying to stay in the past
– Seeing dysfunctional behavior as the problem
– Not recognizing the ambiguity as fertile ground for planning new seeds

Structure isn’t necessarily the answer. Believe it or not, the Neutral Zone is a highly creative time formulating new ideas, attitudes and behaviors. Since you have let go of old ways of thinking and doing things, and the new reality isn’t functional yet, you are primed for thinking about things and doing things in a new way… It is a perfect time for getting coaching. There may be some decisions to be made and at the very lease there is a need to understand or get some perspective on what is going on and what it’s telling you about who you are being in the world.

Tips for moving through the Neutral Zone:
– Give the process time
– Put temporary systems into place, such as coaching
– Develop strategies for releasing innovativeness
– Try new and different things

The Neutral Zone can be a scary place where you’ve decided to give up your old ideas, beliefs, or attitudes either by choice or circumstances, but have yet to become comfortable with a new way of thinking, a new way of being in the world. When you’re in the Neutral Zone, there is a huge temptation to revert to familiar old thoughts, or to entirely give up on change out of frustration and fear. Transitions are not necessarily linear or one-directional. They can loop back, from Endings to the Neutral Zone then back to Endings a few times before finally moving forward through the to a New Beginning.

The Neutral Zone is an opportune time for learning how to become present in order to access your own inner wisdom. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievance, sadness and all forms of non forgiveness are caused by thoughts focused too much in the past and not enough in the present moment. Anxiety, stress, worry… all kinds of fear, are caused by thoughts focused too much in the future and not enough in the present moment. These are both resistance to being here and now. All struggle ends when you are present. Present moment awareness is imbued with qualities of care, peace, and love. The key is to be in a constant state of inner connectedness with your body. Staying rooted within, changes your quality of consciousness and transforms the quality of your life as you move into a New Beginning.

In Part 1 of Transition: The Way Through Change I described the 3 stages of the transition process and the 5 stages of the grieving process. You can read this post at .

In Part 2 of The Way Through Change – Endings (Letting Go of the Old) I described the characteristics of Ending along with traps you can fall into and trips for getting through this stage. You can read this post at .

Live the Possibilities!!

©2015 Patricia Rubino

Tags: , , ,

Category: Empowerment

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. […] with traps you can fall into and tips for getting through this stage. You can read this post at […]

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.